Monday News Roundup: Attorney General Not Defending Gay Marriage Ban And More...

Jul 22, 2013

NM Attorney General Not Defending Gay Marriage BanThe Associated Press

New Mexico Attorney General Gary King says a state prohibition on same-sex marriage is unconstitutional.

King told the state Supreme Court on Monday in written arguments that it should invalidate the gay marriage ban if the justices agree to consider a lawsuit filed by two Santa Fe men who were denied a marriage license.

However, King also said the lawsuit isn't properly before the high court and the justices should deny the men's request to order the Santa Fe County clerk to issue them a marriage license.

King said New Mexico law effectively doesn't allow gay marriages although there's no statutory provision that specifically prohibits or authorizes gay couples to be married.

He said the prohibition on gay marriage violates the state constitutional guarantee of equal protection under the law.


Permit Denied For NM Horse Slaughter CompanyThe Associated Press

The New Mexico Environment Department on Monday dealt a new blow to a Roswell company's hard-fought attempts to begin slaughtering horses next month, declining a request to renew Valley Meat Co.'s wastewater discharge permit.

The denial came the same day that actor Robert Redford and former New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson joined the divisive debate, announcing formation of an animal protection foundation to fight a return to domestic horse slaughter.

The NMED says it won't renew the permit without a public hearing, noting it has received more than 450 comments against letting the former cattle slaughterhouse open as a horse slaughter plant.

Valley Meat Co. attorney Blair Dunn cried foul, saying the agency was unfairly targeting a small family-owned business. He says the plant can still open, but would have to haul its waste.

Court Orders New Hearing In NM Uranium Mine Permit- The Associated Press A lawyer for environmental groups say a Santa Fe judge has overturned a decision by Gov. Susana Martinez's administration granting a permit for a uranium mine to remain inactive without any cleanup.

Eric Jantz of the New Mexico Environmental Law Center said District Judge Raymond Ortiz's decision on Monday will send the case back to the state Mining and Minerals Division for further public hearings.

The agency renewed a standby permit last year for Rio Grande Resources' Mount Taylor mine near Grants.

The judge ruled Amigos Bravos and the Multicultural Alliance for a Safe Environment weren't adequately allowed to raise issues about protecting groundwater from contamination from mining waste piles. The judge also said the agency wrongly kept a company report confidential on the mine's economic viability.